Using Search To Make The Last Mile Count

It’s sometimes hard to pinpoint where search marketing falls in the funnel. Is it at the top, when consumers are just beginning consideration and gathering information? Or is it at the end, when consumers are ready to buy and are looking for a place to purchase? Arguments could be made for either, or somewhere else in the funnel. Or all of the above.

Recently, there have been some developments to make the case for the lower end of the funnel. Both Google and Facebook have updated their platforms to include better targeting and attribution to their mapping features. The result, says Bill Nagel, chief marketing strategist at digital marketing intelligence technology company Netsertive, makes local search advertising even more effective and attributable.



“Mobile is changing the way we behave and how we search,” Nagel tells Search Insider. “What people search for and where they are is important for attribution.”

To prepare for this new world of attribution, businesses must pay closer attention to the local aspects of their search marketing programs. “Just having an ad now isn’t enough,” Nagel says. “Paying attention to the dynamics of your role in a local environment is what makes a difference.”

That means understanding your marketplace in such a manner that not only knows what “separates a hardware store from a dentist,” but also understands the contributing factors of the “last mile of attribution” to better motivate consumers when they’re ready to purchase, Nagel says.

This applies not only to local merchants and dealers, but big brands as well, Nagel says. The more big brands can work with local sales partners and channels, the stronger their position to make a sale. Brands that localize their programs with resellers see a higher ROI (three to five times greater) than those that don’t, he says.

“Typically big brands take a broad approach,” Nagel says. In doing so, “they’ve missed the [chance] to show up on mobile devices where there’s greater opportunity to make a sale.”

Similarly, local dealers should know their markets, what their customers are looking for, and how to best reach them. And, as with so many other areas of marketing, they should know what they hope to gain through the program before they dive in.

“If you don’t have a good view of those things, it will be tough to master your ad dollar,” Nagel says.
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